Harper and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Aldershot Magistrates Court: Admn 8 Jun 2010

Police defendants not to have addresses withheld

The defendants, senior police officers were accused of misconduct in public office, being said to have sought improperly to interfere in prosecutions for speeding. They appealed against refusal by the magistrates to have their addresses protected.
Held: The appeal failed. The burden was on the claimants to establish good reason for departing from the principle of open justice. They had not met that burden: ‘If there is a risk, it would not in the circumstances be enhanced by publication of addresses. On the information the claimants give, any approach to them is likely to be a targeted one which would not be deterred by the need to discover a home address. While the charges against the claimants are serious, they are unlikely to provoke that response by vigilantes which occasionally occurs in some categories of offence, for example, charges involving abuse of young children.’

Pill LJ, Rafferty J
[2010] EWHC 1319 (Admin), (2010) 174 JP 410
Contempt of Court Act 1981 11
England and Wales
CitedRegina v Malvern Justices, Ex parte Evans 1988
The circumstances in which it is appropriate for a court to allow a name or other names to be withheld are rare. The Court cannot derogate from this principle for lesser purposes, including that of sparing the feelings of a defendant. . .
CitedRegina v Evesham Justices, ex parte McDonnagh QBD 1988
The court considered the existence of a power in the magistrates court to order a hearing to be held in camera and referred to section 11 of the 1981 Act. Watkins LJ said: ‘However, I am bound to say that I am impressed with the argument that the . .
CitedScott v Scott HL 5-May-1913
Presumption in Favour of Open Proceedings
There had been an unauthorised dissemination by the petitioner to third parties of the official shorthand writer’s notes of a nullity suit which had been heard in camera. An application was made for a committal for contempt.
Held: The House . .
CitedAttorney-General v Leveller Magazine Ltd HL 1-Feb-1979
The appellants were magazines and journalists who published, after committal proceedings, the name of a witness, a member of the security services, who had been referred to as Colonel B during the hearing. An order had been made for his name not to . .
CitedTrinity Mirror and Others, Regina (on the Application Of) v Croydon Crown Court CACD 1-Feb-2008
The defendant had pleaded guilty in the Crown Court to 20 counts of making or possessing child pornography. No direction was made for withholding the defendant’s identity in court, but the Crown Court made an order in the interest of the defendant’s . .
CitedRegina v Newtonabbey Magistrates Court Ex Parte Belfast Telegraph Newspapers Ltd CANI 27-Aug-1997
When the defendant charged with indecent assault was remanded on bail to await trial, the magistrate ordered that there should be no report of the proceedings at that stage because of the defendant’s concerns that publicity would lead to his being . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Magistrates, Police, Media

Updated: 31 October 2021; Ref: scu.416458